Marcus Garvey: Rembering one of the greatest Pan-Africanist and pioneer of pan-Africansm

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr was born on 17 August 1887 in Jamaica, he was a Jamaican activist, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur and orator. He was known to be a founder and first President-General of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL, commonly known as UNIA). Marcus Garvey declared himself Provisional President of Africa. Like later, Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Amílcar Cabral, Thomas Sankara and Malcolm X, Garvey ideologically was a black nationalist and Pan Africanist, his ideas came to be known as Garveyism.

Garvey, a self taught orator and journalist, emphasized unity between Africans and Africans in diaspora. He campaigned for an end to Europeans colonial rule across Africa and political unification of the continent. He envisioned a United Africa as a one-party. He was committed to the Black African movements though himself he had never visited Africa. His ideas became very popular which recorded various membership within UNIA. However, his black separatist view and his collaboration with white racists group such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) to advance their shared interest in racial separatism, divided Garvey from other prominent African American Pan-Africanist and civil rights activists such as W. E. B. Du Bois.

Garvey launched many businesses to promote African financial independent from white dominated society. The businesses includes Negro Factories Corporation and Negro World newspaper. He became the president of the Black Star Line shipping and passenger company, designed to link between North America and Africa to facilitate African American migration to Liberia.

Garvey helped in setting up Liberia for freed slaves, the Ghanian National Flag adapted the same colors of UNIA.

After he was barred from travelling to any Central American countries citing him disruptive, he traveled to England instead. Once in London, he told his friend Amy Bailey that he had “left Jamaica a broken man, broken in spirit, broken in health and broken in pocket… and I will never, never, never go back.” This was after Great Depression and constant imprisonments.

In January 1940, Garvey suffered a stroke which left him largely paralyzed. Garvey died at the age of 52 on June 10 1940.

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